Lenoir Co. middle school using the arts to engage students

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT)- There are a number of “A+” schools in North Carolina, but only one in Lenoir County.

Music, theater, and the arts in general, are incorporated into all classes at Rochelle Middle School in Kinston, and teachers say it’s making a difference. The program is all about engaging students, whether it’s a poet teaching English class or students creating their own beats in music class.

This week poet, Glenis Redmond, is teaching English to the students as a part of “A+.”

Music teacher Fabrienne Kittrell said, “You’re talking about preparing students for 21st-century skills, the arts lends itself to do that.”

Rochelle Middle School implemented the “A+” program in an effort to increase below average test scores. Music teacher Fabrienne Kittrell was around when the program started in 2009. She thinks the school is moving in the right direction because of “A +.”

Rochelle Middle School implemented the “A+” program in an effort to increase below average test scores. Music teacher Fabrienne Kittrell was around when the program started in 2009. She thinks the school is moving in the right direction because of “A +.”

Rochelle Middle School implemented the “A+” program in an effort to increase below average test scores. Music teacher Fabrienne Kittrell was around when the program started in 2009. She thinks the school is moving in the right direction because of “A +.”

“Once you have those students engaged, the students start making connections with what their learning,” Kittrell said. “Once you make a connection with what you’re learning whenever you take a test you can draw back on the information you’ve learned.”

Educators at Rochelle have to deal with a lot on a daily basis. Kittrell says “A+” is perfect for a school in Rochelle’s position. She says while a lot of progress isn’t shown on paper, the program is working, and once everything comes together it will change the way people view the school and the city.

“This has the potential to put Kinston on the map for something very positive, to blow Kinston out of the water,” Kittrell said.

The North Carolina Arts Council and Kinston’s Community Council for the Arts work together to sponsor visitors. The two groups also keep the program funded.

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